Red Letter Day as HebCelt Scoops Green Award

More awards for HebCelt. Picture by Colin Cameron
More awards for HebCelt. Picture by Colin Cameron

After a highly successful 2017, the internationally-acclaimed Hebridean Celtic Festival has started the new year by collecting another award – its fourth in three months.

The Stornoway-based event picked up a Highly Commended accolade at A Greener Festival Awards last night (Thursday), in recognition of its drive to minimise the event’s environmental impact.

HebCelt was the only Scottish festival to earn a Highly Commended award.

The winners were announced during the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival and conference in The Netherlands.

An awards spokesperson said: “With the continued development of the Greener Festival assessment criteria, festivals have been challenged more than ever to be awarded, and this really is a great example of the work HebCelt does”.

It is another major honour for the festival which in November was named Best Cultural Event or Festival in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA), a title it also won in 2014.

In October, it collected both the Festival of the Year award and the Grand Prix prize for ‘best of the best’ at the Scottish Event Awards.

Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is another amazing award in what has been a truly outstanding few months for our festival.

“Reducing HebCelt’s impact on our unique environment is a sharp focus for the team given our location and with so much of our infrastructure having to travel to the island.

“However our green team and all the volunteers and contractors who work behind the scenes are to be commended on supporting us in our achievements.

“We regularly receive fantastic feedback from audiences on our commitment to greening activities and this award is a pat on the back for the dedication of those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help us achieve such outstanding recognition. All should feel justifiably proud of their remarkable contribution.”

A Greener Festival is a not-for-profit company committed to helping events, festivals and venues around the world adopt environmentally efficient practices.

Award applicants undergo a rigorous assessment, site visit and post-event analysis of their events’ sustainability actions.

Events are assessed on 11 main areas including transport, waste, power, water and local area impacts.

As part of the awards process, the organisation sends an auditor to assess measures taken by festivals to make them as green as possible.

It also speaks with traders, audience, and sub-contractors, as well as viewing every aspect of the event.